Kate Vaiden

Reynolds Price

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Kate Vaiden

Kate Vaiden ne of the most feisty spellbinding and engaging heroines in modern fiction captures the essence of her own life in this contemporary American odyssey born of red clay land and small town people We m

  • Title: Kate Vaiden
  • Author: Reynolds Price
  • ISBN: 9780684846941
  • Page: 311
  • Format: Paperback
  • 0ne of the most feisty, spellbinding and engaging heroines in modern fiction captures the essence of her own life in this contemporary American odyssey born of red clay land and small town people We meet Kate at a crucial moment in middle age when she begins to yearn to see the son she abandoned when she was seventeen But if she decides to seek him, will he understand he0ne of the most feisty, spellbinding and engaging heroines in modern fiction captures the essence of her own life in this contemporary American odyssey born of red clay land and small town people We meet Kate at a crucial moment in middle age when she begins to yearn to see the son she abandoned when she was seventeen But if she decides to seek him, will he understand her Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Kate Vaiden is a penetrating psychological portrait of an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances, a story as joyous, tragic, comic and compelling as life itself.

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      Posted by:Reynolds Price
      Published :2019-02-11T08:20:58+00:00

    One thought on “Kate Vaiden

    1. Linda on said:

      Don’t expect to read a book like your mother’s southern novel. Kate Vaiden isn’t your typical genteel lady of “Cold Sassy Tree,” or “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Most of Kate’s story takes place in the late 30’s, but she has a thoroughly modern independent nature; one that today’s woman could easily identify with. Narrated in the first person, it’s the story of a Southern girl, who is raised by relatives, following the death of her parents by murder-suicide. Kate seems strangely [...]

    2. Jeanette"Astute Crabbist" on said:

      3 1/2 starsI couldn't quite figure out what I thought of it as a whole, because there was so much about it that I loved---especially the Southern flavor, the occasional laugh-out-loud humor, and the style of writing that is so different from other authors. But the whole is definitely less satisfying than its parts. I liked Kate better as a young girl than as a woman.The book has a strong orphan/abandonment theme that's very interesting to follow. You can't really dislike Kate, and yet there seem [...]

    3. Elizabeth (Alaska) on said:

      I had no expectations for this book. It was a gift, and one I likely would not have chosen for myself. It is written in the first person from the perspective of a 57-year old woman who wants to tell about her life. She really only tells about her life from age 11 to about age 20, then there are some 20 pages covering the next nearly 40 years. I can only describe it as a coming-of-age story - a type of story I prefer to skip. I didn't want a longer story, I just wanted more of the adult Kate Vaid [...]

    4. Ed on said:

      Ah, Kate breaks your heart, over and over. Or she did mine. Why does she do what she does? I kept wondering. Her world is a violent, fatalistic, and sad one. Independent and plucky, she knows her own mind about things. I don't know if KATE VAIDEN qualifies as the late Mr. Price's tour de force, but it sure had an impact on me. Kate narrates her saga in a North Carolina idiom that might take some getting used to while reading.

    5. Tamara Agha-Jaffar on said:

      Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price is a first-person narrative of the unsettled life of Kate Vaiden. The novel opens with Kate in her late fifties. She takes us back in time, recalling her turbulent life beginning at the age of eleven when she loses both her parents to a murder-suicide. Kate is then raised in a loving environment by her aunt and uncle in the small town of Macon, North Carolina. Kate has her first sexual encounter with a young man who later dies in a military training camp during the [...]

    6. John on said:

      A winner of the National Bokk Critics Circle Award this is painfully obvious story of the title character, Kate Vaiden. Reynolds Price amongst his many academic accomplishments holds a named chair as a professor a Duke. My own digression here - his brief bio in the back of the book reads much more like a senior CV for someone applying for a prestigious position in order to inculcate the ignorant masses.A well wrought story that is written by the protagonist as means of explanation to the son tha [...]

    7. Jennifer on said:

      Reynolds Price introduces us to one of the most complex, well-developed characters I have ever had the pleasure to read. Kate Vaiden gives birth to a baby boy in Macon, NC at the tender age of 17. Already she has experienced more tragedies than most adults, which may arguably help to explain why she abandons her son. As the rest of the world lives in WWII, Kate struggles with her own confusing choices and grows up to be a heroine you will sympathize with as well as want to smack. She is a comple [...]

    8. Heather on said:

      This was a very different book for me to read. It was so much a book of words rather than a book with a plot.The plot was slow, but the words, phrases and images Price uses are rich and evoke strong feelings and paint images in the readers eye. I had difficulty at first because he writes in such an unusual way. He does not write "she is sad"- instead he creates an image totally unrelated to sadness that brings out the feeling. All in all, I enjoyed the experience of reading this book, but I felt [...]

    9. Angela on said:

      I didn't really like this book much. I moved through it pretty quickly, because there was always something going on, but I never felt like our Kate changed or learned much. If I had to describe her personality, all I would come up with is "unreliable". I just don't much see the point in following her story for 300 pages.

    10. Anne on said:

      This story, this kind of life, is so true it breaks my heart. The language is exquisite and speaks to my North Carolina self. My favorite line, which has nothing to do with the story but to do with MY story, is " e two most useful subjects in school are Latin and typing"

    11. Robin Friedman on said:

      I had Reynolds Price's novel "Kate Vaiden" (1984) in mind for a long time before finally being persuaded to read it by an online review written by a friend I proposed the book to my reading group as a possible choice among several other books each of which portrayed an individual American woman. The group chose a different book, but I went ahead and read "Kate Vaiden" (the last name rhymes with "maiden") anyway. The novel is unusual in that Price sets the novel in the first person in the voice o [...]

    12. Rebecca Macneal on said:

      Whether it's true or not, this is a real girl and a real story. If you grew up in North Carolina, in any type of agricultural area, you'll feel like you're sittin' on a porch listenin' to someone tell you a story that's the God's honest truth. Thank you, Mr. Price.

    13. Tara on said:

      One of the best novels I've ever read. I marvel at how true Price's voice is as a young woman.

    14. richard on said:

      I read Kate Vaiden 30 years ago and liked it. I ran across a reference to it and Reynolds Price recently and decided I'd read it again. I no longer had the book so had to find it at an old book store. I have to admit, I did not remember most of the book - BUT - I loved this story. 5 stars for sure. I'll read it again in a few years. I already wonder how I will hear it then. Read this book.

    15. Dennis on said:

      My initial impression of Reynolds Price’s Kate Vaiden -- the first 50 pages or so, at least -- was the unique voice. I couldn't quite tell if the language was authentic Southern or Price's modified Southern. My best guess is that it's the latter because I spent three years in North Carolina and, to the best of my recollection, no one in North Carolina (well, Durham, NC, that is) talked like the way the characters did in Price's novel. And, as one of my professors once said, "Okay, the voice is [...]

    16. Betsy on said:

      I would have given it 3.5 stars but can't quite go up to 4. While Reynolds Price can do no wrong when it comes to writing, in my opinion, and he really created a memorable character in Kate Vaiden, (one I won't forget easily), the story just never really pulled me in to the point of wanting to get back to it that quickly.

    17. S. on said:

      3-/2+ Not a bad book. How can I say it… it’s very “plotty.” There’s a lot of “and then…” and “what could have prepared me for what came next?” You know within the first four pages that Kate’s father kills her mother and that Kate abandons her child as a baby. The character Kate is meant to embody resilience and pluck, but while I do sympathize with her most of the time, I find her a bit cold. One feature of the writing that annoys me some is the frequent use of similes, whi [...]

    18. Sarah on said:

      Hmm. Not what I expected at all. Started out as this poor little girl in this Southern gothic disaster, and I almost quit reading because I did not want to read 200 more pages of misery for her. That's not what I got at all. Though tragedy, never of her own making, does follow Kate through her early years, she carries on and leads a full life, of sorts. I think what I liked best was the language (author is/was an english professor at Duke since 1958). I'm not trying to make fun when I say its a [...]

    19. blmagm on said:

      Just a couple of random thoughts:1) I wish that I had been living in North Carolina when Reynolds Price was in his heyday. I would have liked to discuss theology and writing with him. 2) I'm sure Readers' Guides have already been developed for this book. There are so many questions that a group could ponder Does Lee ever have access to Kate's story? If so, how does Lee react to Kate's story? Do you think they reunite? If so, under what circumstances? How do they fit into each others' lives? In m [...]

    20. Abby on said:

      “When I could see Fob and Walter still standing in the cold up ahead, I told myself what I suddenly thought, ‘You are safe, Kate. These grown men are waiting on nothing but you. Now turn out good.’ I was less than half-right, and I turned out stranger than they could have dreamed, but that one moment got me through many others less happy and free.”I am sick to death of novels written from the first-person perspective of plucky, white Southern women. Lord. We have had enough of those. But [...]

    21. Christina on said:

      Been meaning to read some Reynolds Price for ages! This was my pick for the "Read a book from the decade of your birth" category of the Read Harder challenge. And I loved it. The writing was so, SO good: true and clean, with a clear voice and sense of place, and a million clever little similes. I was really impressed with how beautifully he wrote from a woman's perspective- if I hadn't been so keyed in to who this author was I could have forgotten this book was written by a man. There is nothing [...]

    22. Diane on said:

      I've always meant to read something by Reynolds Price, and now I have. He's a terrific writer, wonderfully skilled at leading the reader on and on, giving away just enough of what's coming to intrigue you - but not enough to satisfy. I enjoyed very much the portrait he created of this strange teenager in the 40s, whose psychology always felt slightly odd to me. Although I was willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt, I often found myself wondering how well he, the male author, knew yo [...]

    23. Colleen Flannery on said:

      haven't read a lot of "girl coming of age" books, especially during WWII and even more if they are not going off to war. Add to that that the book, centered on an adolescent to young 20s woman, is written by a man. The south is a whole different country. Homosexuality in the 1940s? Makes for a riveting read. All in all, quite an extraordinary accomplishment. i have to admit that i was hooked with the first couple lines: "The best thing about my life up to here is, nobody believes it. I stopped t [...]

    24. Liz Dean on said:

      Yes that's five stars for dear Ms. Vaiden. I'm still processing it, so maybe my opinion will go down, but basically, I loved it. Can I describe what I love about it yet? I'll try. I love how Kate's character is completely inscrutable. I just didn't understand why she made some of the choices she made. The ending didn't resolve it for me. I love how she accepts the consequences of her behaviors just as a matter of fact. I love the close, homey feel. This book is set in eastern North Carolina, whe [...]

    25. Namaste on said:

      Usually I just do a star number rating and move on, but for this book I must take a moment and type. This novel is not for the faint at heart. If you're wholly entertained by your romantic side, don't bother with it. Kate Vaiden is a heartbreaking story of a woman who has a baby as a teenager and leaves him while he slept to be raised by her relatives. Kate herself was raised by an aunt following the violent death of her own parents as a girl. But this book is no sad-sack story. Reynolds Price, [...]

    26. Jsarno49 on said:

      Kate Vaiden is an unpredictable, hard-scrabble North Carolinian who relates her tale of growing up. In a very strong first person narrative, Kate relates her adventures from her early life as an orphan to her wanderings as a young woman through to her adulthood. Her constant search for belonging and home leads her on numerous side roads and fascinating relationships. Price is a gifted writer who certainly knows his character and depicts her strong character in her words as well as her actions. T [...]

    27. Carmen on said:

      Beautiful Southern writing, except for the whole sexual-awakening-of-the young-girl thing, which read like the sexual awakening of a young girl as imagined by a gay man. I read this for a class in college, and one of the grad students wrote a whole paper about how it read like it was told through the eyes of a gay man -- so much that she thought the author meant us to imagine Kate as a man. The teacher seemed shocked, because she was a friend of Reynolds Price's, and he was in the closet at the [...]

    28. GalwayGirl on said:

      Not loving this, sometimes not even liking it but going to finish as it's a book club read. Kate is becoming more and more unlikeable to me and I keep waiting for her to spark some sympathy or make me better understand her choices and behavior but 80 pages left and still no redemption in sight. I realize she had horrible experiences in her childhood but something is lacking in the writing to make me really feel that those tragedies made her turn out this way. She seems a very mixed up and selfis [...]

    29. Lorrie on said:

      "Fathers can walk out on whole nests of children every day of the year and never return, never send back a dime -- that's considered sad but natural. But an outlaw mother is the black last nightmare any man can face."The title character is a young woman who abandons her infant son. But really, she abandons everyone who cares about her. Yet, at times I found myself sympathizing with her.Really enjoyed the book. It has a lot in common with other Southern novels that I've enjoyed, really evokes the [...]

    30. Debra on said:

      That Kate, narrator and heroine of Kate Vaiden, simultaneously infuriates and delights me should not surprise me, I suppose. (Many of the people that I care most about have the same ability.) For me, Price has written a "real" and engaging woman who has worthwhile experience and perspective of the 20th Century South to share. I think the last 80 pages could have been 40, but the book's slowing momentum right before the end didn't really stop me from speeding to it. Kate Vaiden is the first Price [...]

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